Published by St. Martin's Publishing
Released on December 1, 2003
I went into Dance With the Devil knowing it was going to rip my heart out, make me extremely angry, and grow to love the ones who can show love. This wasn’t an easy read. There were times I wanted to put it down and scream. The audacity of some people to think others are dirt and deserve no scrap of caring is just beyond what I am capable of understanding. As much as I was angry, this was a story that uplifted me with how someone so broken can rise up from the ashes and learn to love again.
Zarek has known pretty much nothing but pain and humiliation all of his life. He was the whipping boy for the royal family, but even he was the bastard son of the King. He was shown no ounce of humanity in his life, nor after his death. Beaten, humiliated, starved, and treated worse than an animal. I don’t know how anyone could come back from this. He became a Dark Hunter, charged with protection, but a hole in his memory makes him believe he failed that task and decimated a city. Exiled to the Alaskan Tundra, he has lived thousands upon thousands of years alone, depending on no one but himself. Not even Acheron in my mind showed him any mercy. So everyone wonders why this man has no soul? They don’t want to work with him. Even when he tries to help them, they shut him out, so he learns every good deed doesn’t mean anything. How do you come back from that?
So when Artemis wants to kill Zarek, Acheron steps in to get him a trial by Astrid, daughter of the Greek goddess of justice Themis. Astrid is at that point in her life where no one is trustworthy. She has never found anyone innocent and losing her faith in everything. She is ready for an end to her career in a way, but she can’t turn down Acheron, who used to read and play with her when she was a child. Artemis sets up a house in Alaska and takes in Zarek after he is injured. With her case, she is made to go blind so she cannot judge on a pretty face, but use her senses to really seek out justice. But how do you touch a man who doesn’t want to be touched? How do you get into a man’s head who has closed everyone out fearing rejection? The beauty of how Astrid slowly unwinds the Hell of Zarek’s life and seeks to find if he still has a heart, is awe inspiring. She truly gets a chance to see his life, how he was treated and what has caused him to be closed off.
Even through the trial that Zarek doesn’t know he is going through for his life, he shows her bits and pieces of who he truly is and just how scared he is to feel anything for anyone. There is still danger of Zarek being hunted because even though Artemis rescinded her death warrant for a while, the hunter has a vengeance against Zarek and he doesn’t intend to stop hunting.
With each book, Sherrilyn picks a new way to release a Dark Hunter from Artemis’s control and I love all the unique ways she can come up with. How can a goddess and Dark Hunter ever be together…read the book and find out!
This book tore me up but also renewed my faith that love can heal. The right person can be all someone needs to rise up beyond the pain to a learn not everyone is out to get them. While it was hard to read some scenes, it gives you the in-depth look at just how bad Zarek’s life was for over 11,000 years. Now I hope the next 11,000 are filled with love and at some point a good spanking for Artemis. Read it! You won’t regret my recommendation!